review by James Harleman
Have we fallen in love with Paris, or have we decided to destroy it? As my wife and I were planning a romantic Valentine’s getaway in January this year the trailer for Taken, Pierre Morel’s film debuted featuring Liam Neeson running amuck through Paris, made us think twice about going. Later this year, if the transforming meteors in Revenge of the Fallen don’t take out the Eiffel Tower, apparently the Rise of Cobra will. Whereas years previous have given us cinematic love stories at the Moulin Rouge and cooking lessons with Ratatouille, this year Hollywood is out to get the City of Lights. (Don’t blame me France, Kat and I had a GREAT time there.)
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” – IMDB, memorable quotes
Taken is “a 2008 French thriller/action film starring Liam Neeson, based on a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, directed by Pierre Morel. Neeson plays a retired CIA operative tracking down his teenage daughter after she is kidnapped in Europe” – Wikipedia. This frenetic Bourne-style action thriller chilled me from the first moment I saw the trailer and I knew I wanted to view (and review) the flick. Although the narrative may seem formulaic, Neeson’s cool, collected verbal execution (threatening, conveniently enough, someone’s execution) was enthralling enough to make me chase this film down opening day. Running roughshod through the French capital in search of his daughter, the film highlights the horrors of human trafficking. In addition, it also explores three fascinating facets of role and relationship regarding the father figure we’ll look at more deeply:
1. A Father’s Redemption
2. Her Father’s Regulation
3. Our Father’s Relentless Pursuit
In the new tradition of multi-part reviews exploring various narrative angles of our films, keep your eye on Cinemagogue this week for our 3-part review of Taken… if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and… I will kid you.